CarersUK report reveals alarming levels of hardship for carers

Date: 4th February 2014

A new report released by CarersUK reveals in great depth how carers are struggling with alarming levels of hardship.

The Caring & Family Finances Inquiry was established in January 2013 to examine the impact of an unprecedented combination of rising living costs and far-reaching changes to social security.

The Inquiry's remit was to:

  • Provide a definitive study into the financial impact of caring - with carers' voices at its heart.
  • Assess the impact of the Government's benefit changes on carers and their families.
  • Develop future policy on reforming the financial support available to families caring for older and disabled friends and relatives.

Supported by an Expert Panel made up of older and disabled people's organisations, academia and social policy experts, the Inquiry has gathered evidence through public polling, survey data, case study modelling and evidence sessions with families across the UK.

The evidence from the Caring & Family Finances Inquiry shows an increasingly divergent picture of families' increasing contribution in unpaid care and diminishing support from Government. As the number of carers, the amount of care they provide and the disadvantage they face continue to grow, the support carers receive from benefits and social care is either failing to keep pace or being reduced.

The number of carers aged 18-24 has risen by 28% in the last 10 years, far faster than the increase in the total carer population of 11%.

The report recommends that Governments across the UK should implement aduty on educational bodies to identify and support young and student carers, following the lead taken in Scotland through the Children & Young People Bill.